More about W Montreal
Well, in Quebec, the letter W doesn't always get the respect it deserves, with the majority of Quebec citizens disagreeing with President George W. Bush, however in Montreal, the W is welcomed.
W hotels definitely cater to a niche market of high end business travelers, who also like to enjoy very overpriced drinks and food in a swanky techno induced frenzy.
During two recent trips to Montreal, we stayed in the W, which for all intents and purposes is a wonderful hotel. My only real issue with it is how expensive this wonderful hotel is. Rack rate for the room I stayed in was 559 dollars, and came with much of the same stuff you would expect, a bed, a shower (which did not have a door), pillows, a toilet, and a mini bar. It was comfortable, spacious, and had some peaceful jazz playing. Water was a whopping $8 a bottle, and a bag of peanuts were $12!
This was however the most comfortable bed I have slept on in some time, so if you are able to find a great rate, I would stay here at least once in your life! The hotel was well within walking distance of alot of main attractions in Montreal, although in the middle of winter, I would recommend taking a taxi, or the metro system, as it was quite chilly in December!
The facility did have a gym, which was located on the bottom floor, and had free weights, treadmills and elliptical machines.
Things to do in Montreal Dec/Jan
To answer question 3, you could visit the Old Port, there are different activities (see web site http://www.quaysoftheoldport.com/home.html). There is the Montreal Science Centre as well.
TOHU the circus complexe http://www.tohu.ca/en/ There are always shows there.
Bell Centre for any hockey games or shows http://www.centrebell.ca/
In terms of sites, there's the Mount Royal Park http://ville.montreal.qc.ca/portal/page?_pageid=175,4878067&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL
Notre-Dame Basilica (Basilique Notre-Dame) in Old Montreal.
Oratoire St-Joseph http://www.saint-joseph.org/en_1001_index.php
I think Cirque du Soleil's Quidam is playing in Montreal. http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/en/home.aspx#/en/home/americas/canada.aspx
If you want a French feel, then Quartier Latin (Latin Quarter) is good for drinks. One bar on St-Denis is Ile Noire, specialty is whisky but there are drinks. http://www.ilenoire.com/index.html; English info can be found at http://www.montrealinfo.com/Ile-Noire/en
Montreal is also known for microbreweries. Since you have a car, you can drive to the areas outside the downtown core. For example: Dieu du Ciel - 29 Laurier W., Montreal (http://www.dieuduciel.com/) There are others of course.
St-Denis street above Sherbrooke Street have many boutiques and restaurants that might interest you.http://www.la-rue-st-denis.com/
Then there's Laurier Street as well.
Crescent street is another club/drinks spot. http://www.crescentmontreal.com/english_main.htm
Due to the holidays, my brain seems to lean towards food and drinks. That's all I can think of for now.
W Hotel is certainly one of the trendiest hotels in Montreal. This experience hotel should not be missed. The interior design is carefully planned out to reflect the surrounding environment. The staff here is awesome. We came in just to have a look see and the staff were extremely friendly and helpful. The hotel features a terrific bar area as well as its own restaurant.
It's a cool place, including the cold service
I recently stayed at the W hotel for only 1 of my 5 scheduled nights. Let me start the summary by saying that I was not a full rate paying guest. Regardless of the fact, I had planned to stay at the W with my sister to show her the stylish and young side of Montreal.
We arrived early and had requested an early check-in, the front desk agent hurried a room clean only to discover that she had requested the wrong room. That was just the start of many more troubles.
I have stayed at the W Seattle before and had been treated very well so I expected that the service and hospitality would be the same. Instead, I believe that their layers of front desk errors caused them to be quite embarrassed and triggered quite a mean and unprofessional streak.
They claimed that the reservation was fraudulent and I would have to pay the advertised rate or stay elsewhere. This came only after me pointing out that my upgrades had not been noted and that several other issues. Once the Executive assistant calmly and patiently explained the error we were able to reach a suitable alternative. Hours later I received another call and was told that we still could not stay under the existing reservation.
A long story short, we spent more time debating with the staff then enjoying our trip.
Regardless of their back office policies, I was bending over backwards to fix the error and when some staff attempted to do the same the HR Director sharply told me that it was a waste of their time.
The rooms are cool and have contemporary styling and unique upgrades, however, there is no view but of a neighbouring atrium and building, and the amenities within the room are lacking. Request to stay in the parkside suites. You will find the reviews are mixed on this site, and I honestly believe that it depends if you appear to fit the "W" type, and are as pretentious and rude as their staff are.
Please note that Hugo and the concierge Marie? are extremely helpful and exactly what I had hoped the service would be like from the rest of the staff.
I have contacted the General Manager about the incident and am hoping for a professional resolution to this terrible experience. When I do hear back I will let you know the outcome.
This hotel is suitable for the type that will not have any interaction with the staff except for those above that I mentioned. The W hotel is supposed to be a service business. I think it is a complete waste of time to spend money at a place where the service and treatment is completely uncomfortable than to stay at a generic hotel and have top of the line service. The W Montreal needs to review their customer service policies and find more professional and quality ways of dealing with their customers.
Beware the Montreal W
Well there were some highs and some lows:
price of everything (rooms, mini bar, movies, food...)
LOUD music coming from Atrium side at night (please book on the park side)
no coffee in rooms
Will try another boutique hotel recommended by users in Montreal.
Wow, I'm not sure why there have been recent bad reviews. I just returned today, and everything was perfect. I've had recent bad experiences with Starwood hotels, so I was a bit skeptical. But everything was impeccable. We checked in a little early and were told we'd have to check our luggage. We were given free cocktails and an upgrade to a "mega" room as an apology. (I will note that I used Starpoints for this stay, so I was afraid the room and service might be bad because it was free -- I was wrong!) The room was spacious and clean. The decor is probably the trendiest I've seen in a W. The bathroom was enormous, and the sink, bathtub, and shower were ultra-modern. I will note that the bathroom is a "peek-a-boo" style, so if you are traveling with someone you don't know well, choose another room type. There is little privacy, as the bathroom "door" is a large blue silk curtain. The staff was friendly and professional. The bartender was nice, and the Wunderbar was really popular. The gym was on the small side but well equiped with treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, stairmasters, and free weights. The equipment all had LCD TVs (bring your own earphones). The location is very convenient, and everything is in reasonable walking distance. The metro stop is also adjacent to the hotel. This was the first time I've stayed at a Starwood hotel where the staff actually "fixed" the goof (room not available immediately -- which was not a big deal, anyway) without me having to say something. They also gave us 4:00 p.m. late checkout. All in all, this would normally qualify as a 4-star hotel, but I give it 5 stars for the flawless service and quality rooms. I would definitely stay here again and plan to do so.
Great place if you like design and a trendy urban location
W Hotels in general are for those who like interior design, lounging, staying at a trendy location - and willing to pay for that. The one in Montréal is a good example: great design, colours, style, furniture, small detail, public spaces etc - really nice and unique. The room was great and more than suitable for a longer stay. Great attention to all details. Staff at the reception was very friendly but at times not really able to cope with the cue of people waiting to be serviced. The internet connection in the rooms is overpriced (20-25 CAD) and not even very fast. All in all a great place to be and definitely a good occasion to try and live in modern, urban surroundings - before you consider redecorating your own home!
Nice Staff, Hotel Just Fair
Wonderful staff, but because of trying to be too hip, this Hotel falls short.
Fancy "mood" lighting in the room was the worst I've ever experienced in travels all over the World. Could barely see in the bathroom and the room itself was not too much better. By the way, the bathroom was separated by a curtain, no door and the towels had no nap whatsoever.
The "mood" music all over the Hotel was too loud (even in the elevators).
I'm not a complainer, just reporting my observations. As I said, however, extremely nice, courteous staff. I personally would not recommend this Hotel.
W Montreal - photo by Mark
Entrance of the W Hotel in Old Montreal
Sitting in the stunning W Hotel bar area
I will be graduating in a year and was thinking about going to a University in Canada to study life sciences (aging, genetics, dermatology etc) and was wondering if anyone knew about which universities offer such a course (or how to find out which ones do) Thank you
Re: Re: Universities
UBC has a good genetics program (my friend is working on DNA sequencing through the physics department at UBC)..
UBC was the first institution to crack the genetic code for the SARS virus.
Re: Re: Universities
I found this link for you:
The size & scope of a particular university will not be as important as the size and prominence of the particular department you're looking to get into. My suggestion to research thoroughly, contact some of the professors directly and see who you feel most comfortable with.
Montreal - Vancouver